NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This month’s Hometown Business Connection is Amber Pietan Travel Agency.
“We used to travel a lot when I was a kid," Amber Pietan said. “We saw the whole western half of the country by car. We used to grab brochures at wayside rests. My sister and I used to play travel agent and hotelier in the back of our Econoline van. So my love of maps and brochures go way back.”
Amber Pietan doesn’t have to pretend any more because she grew up to be a travel agent after branching out on her own six and a half years ago.
“It was a bit frightening and it’s taken the cliché of it takes a few years for business to build up, it’s true.”
Even with increased competition in the digital age with discount travel websites, Pietan says personal touch can’t be replaced.
“We give a lot of advice, whereas travel websites will give prices. We give you advice, tips and tricks about things we’re done wrong or done right. We can help you be able to have a seamless travel situation, coupons and benefits you are not going to know about. Lots of time we can do price matches on stuff you see,” Pietan explained. “It’s fun to experience the ups and downs, so I can tell you what to do and what not to do.”
While her travels take her all over the world, she knows there's no place like home.
“It’s very well supported by Greater Mankato Growth, as well as SBDC and BNI. It helps that I am in a few different networking groups.”
For other entrepreneurs looking for advice, Pietan suggests trying to embrace the entire experience.
“You can’t have success without failure. After 20 years, I feel like I’m on my smooth sailing finally. I’ve worked hard.”